Saturday I rode in the Cross Timbers Classic. I did this century (100 mile) ride last year and really enjoyed it. The event is very well organized and it starts/stops at the Texas Motor Speedway (including a lap around the track at the start). My goal was to ride solo all day (purposefully not ride in any groups/pacelines) and really treat it as a fast training ride. My goal was to finish in less than 5 hours. Last year I finished in just over 5 hours – with an average speed of 19.2 mph.
The weather was perfect on Saturday and I was just fine with no gloves or arm-warmers for the 7:30 a.m. start. I rode a few bike lengths behind the lead group for the first 20 miles or so (trying to stay in the wind). Then there was some confusion at the point where the 100 mile and 100K courses separated. A couple other guys made the 100 mile turn with me and I ended up pulling them for a while. One guy came up front to take a pull and I decided to scrap my “totally solo” plan and just let the ride play out.
It basically ended up being myself and two other guys for most of the way. As we got back to the speedway the route does a few laps (5 miles) around the speedway. We picked up several of the 100K riders at this point and no one wanted to pull. So I pulled for a couple laps and then drilled it on the last lap and was the first 100 mile finisher. I finished in 4:30 (22 mph average). For fellow power training geeks, my normalized power for the ride was 227 watts – which translates into 341 TSS for me (so a solid workout).
One of the benefits of finishing so quickly is that I was home before 1 p.m. to give Jess some relief and watch the kids for the afternoon.